Solar Life

Solar energy is FREE energy to me. Harnessing the power of the Sun to power our everyday electricals seems very logical. I share my thoughts about Solar power in today’s latest post here!

Since moving into the new place, we’ve been exposed to much more Sun than our previous house in Liverpool (as much as you can in Wales anyway). The Sun moves from East to West over the course of the day, and our yard area seems to cover most of that.

Whilst in the process of moving-in last week, battered by the rain and the wind, I was thinking of how efficient it might be to purchase a solar panel to place in our backyard (for when we’re not battered by wind and rain of course). It could power some of our electricals, or cut down our electricity bill just that little bit.

Not only will this cut down our bill, it will help provide us with an alternative source of electricity in case of a power cut – Without electricity, I wouldn’t be able to blog about it!

Spark of Light

A while ago back in Liverpool, I thought it would have been nice to decorate our back yard and put up some solar powered garden lights to make it look reasonably pretty (for a terraced yard anyway). I never got around to setting them up in the yard but thought it could be used effectively in our new place.

It can get rather dark in mine and Zoe’s bedroom at night time, so rather than using a lamp, we set up the solar garden lights around our cupboard doors – charging through the day and lighting up when it begins to get dark. It usually stays on until the early hours of the morning, so it works pretty well.

We thought perhaps purchasing more of these as night lights for the kids’ bedrooms.

Faith usually doesn’t like sleeping without a night light on, and this would be perfect! It wouldn’t add anything to our electricity bill, and it doesn’t even require direct sunlight to charge either (just standard daylight, even overcast can make it work too!).

IMG_2885 (2)

Though Solar Panels are fairly costly (for decent ones anyway), I believe they are a good investment providing you are exposed to a good area of sunlight.

Solar Heaters

It can get rather chilly in the new place on a bad day, especially during the mornings, and we’re having to turn on our storage heaters to heat the place up throughout the day. This again is quite cost-heavy on our electricity bill, so I would like to avoid using them if possible.

I started a bit of digging around on the internet and found another solar invention that could possibly help.

It’s called a SOLAR HEATER.

Basically it consists of a black panel with black metal inside. Cold air goes in one end, the Sun heats up the metal inside the panel, and the hot air gets sucked out the other end.

Many people have made these as an alternative way to heat up a room and seeing as how the Sun peers into our yard most of the day, it just seems logical to make.

For the inside of the panel, beer cans or steel food cans can be used (just needs connecting together and painting black).

The frame can be made from wood big enough for the cans to fit inside. You can add as many cans as you like, but a few tutorials I’ve seen base around 24 cans – 4 columns, 6 cans in each column.

I need to start gathering the materials together for this, and if I do end up making something like it, I shall post up some images for you all to have a look at.

It seems like a nice idea to run off the power of the Sun, especially because the new place runs solely off electricity – It can help cut down the cost of the electricity bills, and is environmentally-friendly. That seems like a WIN-WIN situation to me. Hopefully if the conditions remain solid (a lot of sunlight) from now on, then one day i’ll lead a ‘Solar Life‘ like many others do too!


If you are living a ‘Solar Life’ and have your own solar panels, wish to share your thoughts on them, or are thinking about building a solar project of your own, please let us know in the comments section below! We’d love to hear your stories!

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Author: Liam Plimley

Dad of 4. Happily cohabiting with my partner. Have a background in Video and Film Production.

One thought on “Solar Life”

  1. Pingback: DIY Daddy

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